Thursday, April 25, 2024
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MLB Preview: San Diego Padres (22-27) at Washington Nationals (21-28)


Friars fall 5-3 on Wednesday in D.C., forcing today’s rubber game

  • Yesterday, starter Ryan Weathers went 6.0 innings but allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 5 hits with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts…he was saddled with the loss (now 1-3).
  • The Padres went 0-for-1 with RISP, and both Rougned Odor and Ha-Seong Kim homered.

Padres look to avoid 6th-straight series defeat, haven’t won a series since May 1-3 vs. CIN

  • San Diego entered this series having lost their last 5 straight series, and a win in today’s rubber match would be their 1st series win since they took 2 of 3 from Cincinnati from May 1-3.
  • Their series losing streak of 5 straight series is their longest since they lost the last 5 series of the 2021 season, and if the Padres lose today, it’ll be their longest series losing streak within a season since they lost 6 straight in July of 2018.
  • Despite their National League-low .250 winning percentage since May 6 (4-12), Padres pitchers since May 6 have the lowest ERA of any NL club (3.32) and the lowest opponent average in MLB (.207).

Cue the rubber match

  • The Friars are 1-5 this year in rubber games, and in the Padres’ last 7 series (including this one), this is their 5th rubber game…their sole rubber game win came in their last series win on May 3 vs. CIN. Bump Day in D.C.
  • Today, Blake Snell looks to improve on his last outing on Friday, May 19th vs. Boston, in which and he was tagged with his 6th loss behind a season-high 6 ER and season-low 87 pitches in SD’s 6-1 loss.
  • The Padres are 1-8 in his 9 outings, and his 6 losing decisions T-2nd most in the Majors…last Friday’s outing snapped a streak of 3 consecutive quality starts, T-3rd longest streak of his career and tied for his longest as a Padre….among all hurlers who have made at least 9 starts entering today, his 3.20 run support average (run scored while he’s in the game) is 9th-fewest in the MLB.

RISPY Business

  • The Padres went hitless again with runners in scoring position, and in their last 5 games since the start of their last series against the Red Sox, they’ve gone just 1-for-29 (.034) with RISP…the Padres’ .184 average (71-for-386) on the season with RISP is the lowest mark in baseball.

Up next: Padres continue their 11-day, 9-game roadtrip to New York & Miami

  • The Friars will continue their 4th roadtrip of the season following today’s game…starting tomorrow, they will play the New York Yankees for a 3-game series from the 26-28, enjoy an off day on May 29, and then play a 3-game set in Miami from May 30-June 1.
  • It’ll be the Padres’ 1st time playing the Yankees since 2019 (also was in New York), and it’ll be their 19th all-time regular season game against NYY (are 7-11)…they are 2-7 overall in NY, and their last 3-game series from May 27-29 was their 1st series at the new Yankee Stadium, inaugurated in 2009.

All ‘penned up

  • The Padres ‘pen’s 1.17 WHIP is the best mark in the NL so far this year, and the lowest WHIP by a Padre bullpen in franchise history is their 1.13 WHIP in 2010…they also have an NL-best 3.23 ERA and an MLB-best .213 opponent average.

Snell set for 5th career start vs. Nationals
30-year-old left-hander Blake Snell takes the mound for his 10th start of the season, and the 5th of his career vs. the Nationals…he looks to improve on his 2-0 record, 2.45 ERA and .203 AVG against the Nationals…2 of his 24 career double-digit strikeout games have come against the Nationals, including his 1st of 2 starts against WSH last season on Aug. 14 @ Nationals Park (6.0 IP, 3 H, 10 SO).

Snell allows season high 6 earned runs in season-low 87 pitches
In his most recent outing last Fri, Snell made his 13th career start vs. the Boston Red Sox, which tied for his 2nd-most against any club (also: TOR), and he was tagged with his 6th loss behind a season-high 6 ER and season-low 87 pitches in SD’s 6-1 defeat

Run support woes continue
The Padres are 1-8 in his 9 outings, and his 6 losing decisions T-2nd most in the Majors… Last Friday’s outing snapped a streak of 3 consecutive quality starts, T-3rd longest streak of his career and tied for his longest as a Padre….among all hurlers who have made at least 9 starts entering today, his 3.20 run support average (run scored while he’s in the game) is 9th-fewest in the Majors…digging deeper, among all qualifying pitchers since the start of 2022, his 3.95 RSA is 11th-fewest in the Majors.

Limit the free passes
Snell’s lone winning decision came in his only start this season with 0 walks on Mon, May 1 vs. CIN…it was the 12th time in his career he’s issued 0 walks across 6.0+ innings, and he is now 10-0 with a 1.29 ERA in such outings…it was his first career start vs. the Reds, leaving his former team, the Tampa Bay Rays, as the only team he is yet to square off against.

More on the walks
Snell has issued 3+ walks in 6 of his 9 starts so far this year, including 4 such starts in a row from April 6-25…this season, he’s issued 27 BB to the 202 batters he’s faced across 45.0 IP…he has the 7th-highest BB/9 IP ratio (5.40) and 6th highest BB/BFP (.134) – min. 9 starts.

Call him ‘Swing and Miss Snell’
Snell has caused opponents to swing and miss 32.1% of the time, 6th-highest swing and miss rate among all ML starters and 4th highest in the NL (min. 9 starts), trailing only Spencer Strider (39.6%), Edward Cabrera (33.2%) and Hunter Greene (32.9%)…among all ML pitchers who have made at least 55 starts since 2021, which was Snell’s first season with the Padres, his 32.3 whiff % is the 4th-highest, trailing only Corbin Burnes (35.1%), Shane McClanahan (33.6%) and Dylan Cease (32.7%).

Can’t stay ahead if you don’t get ahead
Snell is getting ahead in counts on the first pitch a little over half the time…his 53.0 first-pitch strike percentage is 4th-lowest in the Majors and 3rd-lowest in the NL (min. 9 starts).


The Nationals and Padres play six times this season (3 in D.C., 3 in SD)…Henry Blanco played 67 games for the Padres in 2009…CJ Abrams and MacKenzie Gore were two of six players acquired from the Padres in the deal that sent Josh Bell and Juan Soto to San Diego at the 2022 Trade Deadline…Mason Thompson was acquired from the Padres a year earlier at the 2021 Trade Deadline…Trevor Williams (Rancho Bernardo HS) and Riley Adams (Canyon Crest Academy / University of San Diego) are from San Diego…Padres manager of media relations JP Nolan was an intern in Washington’s communications department during the 2016 season…Nelson Cruz spent the 2022 season with the Nationals… Padres third base coach Matt Williams managed Washington for two seasons (2014-15).

The Washington Nationals close out this homestand with a rubber match against the San Diego Padres on Thursday afternoon… Following the game, the Nationals will travel to Kansas City where they will open a three-game series on Friday night before moving on to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers on Monday.

  • The Nationals beat the Padres, 5-3, on Wednesday night to even the series…Trevor Williams (5.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO) earned the win while Alex Call (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R) led the offense.
  • Carl Edwards Jr. (Hold, 1.0 IP, H, SO), Hunter Harvey (Hold, 1.1 IP, 2 SO) and Kyle Finnegan (Save, 1.0 IP, SO) combined to toss 3.1 scoreless innings of relief.

The Nationals have won three of the last four, eight of 16 and 12 of their last 23 games…They are 16-15 (.516) dating to April 21 at Minnesota.

  • Washington is 20-22 (.476) after losing six of seven games to start the season…That stretch included series against the Atlanta Braves (1-2) and Tampa Bay Rays (0-3) as well as a 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies on their Opening Day.
  • The Nationals are 9-5 (.643) at home since April 30 vs. Pittsburgh…This comes after going 2-11 at home to start the season.

Lane Thomas has reached safely in a career-high 20 straight games and has hit safely in 18 of the 20… Thomas is hitting .341/.379/.634 with three doubles, a triple, six homers, 14 RBI, four walks, one hit by pitch, two stolen bases and 17 runs scored during this streak.

  • Thomas is tied for fourth in the National League with seven home runs during the month of May, while his .636 slugging percentage ranks 10th in the NL during the month.
  • On the season, Thomas ranks in the National League in runs scored (T10th, 31), hits (10th, 54) and average (12th, .293).

The Nationals rank third among Major League clubs in batting average (.299) and fourth in on-base percentage (.357) against left-handed pitching this season.

  • Dominic Smith leads the National League left-handed hitters and ranks second among Major League Baseball lefties with a .339 average against left-handed pitching…Luis García ranks ninth (.302) among National League left-handed hitters against left-handed pitchers this season.
  • Lane Thomas is tied for third in the National League with 20 hits against lefties and ninth with a .357 average against left-handed pitchers.

CJ Abrams has posted a .611 slugging percentage in his last 10 games…Six of his 10 hits over this span have gone for extra bases (3 2B, 3 HR).

  • He leads the Nationals and is tied for third among NL shortstops with 25 RBI…His .410 slugging percentage ranks third among NL shortstops.

Joey Meneses is tied for fifth in the National League with 57 hits and his .295 batting average ranks ninth.

  • Meneses ranks third in Major League Baseball with 46 hits behind Freddie Freeman (49) and Marcus Semien (47) since April 15…His .331 batting average since April 15th ranks fifth in MLB.
  • He is hitting .355/.394/.500 with six doubles, one homer, 14 RBI, four walks and seven runs scored in his last 15 games.

following the 2022 season…Has the “Best Control” in Washington’s system, perBaseball America…Joins other University of Oklahoma pitchers Cade Cavalli (2020 Draft) and Jake Bennett (2022 Draft) in the Nationals organization….Is the 25th pitcher drafted/signed and developed by the Washington Nationals to start a game for Washington (2005-pres.).

Allowed four earned runs on five hits in 2.2 innings of work on May 19 vs. Detroit…It was the shortest outing of Irvin’s young career.

Earned his first Major League win on May 8 at San Francisco…Tossed 6.1 shutout innings with five strikeouts, three walks and four hits allowed…With the outing, Irvin became the first pitcher in Nationals history (2005-pres.) to finish one of his first two career starts with at least 6.0 scoreless innings.

Made his Major League debut at home against the Chicago Cubs…Allowed one run on two hits in 4.1 IP with four walks and three strikeouts…Took a no decision but the Nationals won the game 2-1.

As told to Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post: “To Irvin, baseball was more about having fun than plotting a future. He learned his curveball grip by messing around in the backyard. He honed the pitch by throwing it from shortstop to first base during practice, a way of messing with his teammates.”

  • Opposing batters are 3-for-20 (.150) with seven strikeouts against his curveball.

With his first Major League pitch, Irvin hit Cubs infielder Nico Hoerner in the back…According to Elias Sports Bureau, Irvin was the first pitcher since 2000 to hit a batter with the first pitch he threw in his MLB debut as a starting pitcher.

Irvin made five starts for Triple-A Rochester this season…He went 2-2 with a 5.65 ERA (14 R/22.1 IP)…Irvin has worked at least 5.0 innings in three of his five starts and has struck out 20 in 22.1 innings.

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